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Murray River drowning-accused avoids court

Murray River drowning-accused avoids court

Shortly after police received information the five-year-old boy was missing in the Murray River.

A desperate search of the river continues for his missing five-year-old brother.

The Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne said he is in a critical condition.

Police were called to Perricoota Road near the Murray River after a nine-year-old boy was found with what police said were "serious dog bite injuries".

On Wednesday, the 27-year-old mother - whose name can not be published for legal reasons - allegedly took the children from the home of their grandparents in Deniliquin, in southern NSW.

The children's stable time with their grandparents was disturbed when the mother contacted them in early February on her release from prison, and, according to the grandparent's solicitor, they were forced to let her stay in the property by local authorities and social services.

The mother was refused bail in a court appearance Friday - she will reappear via audio-visual link on Monday, March 6, when additional charges are expected to be laid.

After escaping from his mum, the older boy was "savagely mauled" by a dog.

Lawyer Dale Brooks, who is representing the grandmother of the boys, told News.com.au that the mother was a long-time ice addict and is well-known to local authorities. It heard that the mother took her sons to the water's edge and demanded that the eldest boy get in the water, the Bendigo Advertiser reported.

"We've had a brief conversation with the nine-year-old last night and we haven't had another".

When asked what the chances were the five-year-old would be found alive, Supt Condon said: "There is every chance".

Buddy the dog intervened as the woman allegedly tried to down a nine-year-old boy

Detective Sergeant Swinton of New South Wales police said the suspect admitted trying to kill both her boys and allegedly told of having to "drown her babies" to witnesses.

His younger brother is still missing, feared drowned, with police divers continuing to search the river today.

The alleged attack unfolded near the Victoria and New South Wales border, on the Victorian side, after the mother took her two sons from their grandmother's care in Deniliquin and drove them to a friend's home, which backs onto the river. He was last seen floating face-down in the river.

But there's nothing but sympathy for the 27-year-old's mother and stepfather - the grandparents of the child found dead in the river and the other in hospital in Melbourne.

Outside court this morning, her lawyer Peter Hebbard said his client was distressed.

Despite the grandmother taking out an apprehended violence order against the woman previous year, authorities still expected them to live together.

The dog has bitten the 27-year-old mother and the nine-year-old.

"It's a awful story, it's a sad story, it's a tragic story, not only for the community, the police, especially the family - it's just bad".

"It will rock the community of Australia", he said in a press conference Friday. "We want answers", said the woman's aunt, who can't be named for legal reasons.

Police divers combed the river until 11pm last night, before calling off the search until this morning. "My police are devastated".

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